Want to escape the economic gloom? the (sydney) magazine comes up with 100 things to do that won’t cost a fortune -but will make you feel like a billionaire.
Welcome to Sydney in 2009. Wall Street’s in tatters, motorists are on bowser watch, a litre of milk costs $2.30 and interest rates are a constant concern.
What to do? Find a way to enjoy yourself. In Sydney, when the going gets tough, the tough get going – to restaurants, bars, beaches and cinemas. And, while the city might be home to Astral restaurant’s $1000 degustation menu and enough priced-up wagyu steaks to feed the Japan Sumo Association, it’s also a city that rewards the thrifty. Cheap thrills abound for those looking for distraction and to help you through these penny-pinching times, the(sydney)magazine has raided the petty cash drawer and found 100 fun things to do on the cheap.
You’ll find cheap eats, great walks, brilliant $2 stores, surprising happy hours (free drinks at est. anyone?), as well as designer factory outlets, guided tours galore and fiery political talks – with beer, of course. There are also a few surprises, such as ringing a bell at St Mary’s Cathedral or watching a hermit crab race in a Newtown pub. It may be that 1929 redux is just around the corner, but when you can breaststroke across Bondi Icebergs pool for less than a fiver, la dolce vita looks like nothing could sour it.
1. Taste the future
The students at the William Blue School of Hospitality in North Sydney run a Mod-Oz brasserie for lunch weekdays and dinner weeknights (except Tuesday). Look for $15 main courses and eager-to-please waiters. http://www.thinkeducationgroup.com.au.
2. Polish your ball skills
Brush up your bocce at the Gazebo Wine Garden in Elizabeth Bay. Every Sunday from 4pm there’s a free bocce competition and $15 jugs of sangria. 2 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay. Phone: 9357 5333.
3. Dust off your bodyboard
Hose down your old bodyboard, brush up on the lingo (drop-knee isn’t an injury) and make tracks to your nearest surf beach.
4. Stay at a university
Stay close to the city – on campus at the University of Sydney. Wesley College (phone: 9565 3377) offers bed and breakfast for $65 a night per person over the summer, while single rooms at St John’s College (phone: 9394 5200) start at $65 a night. Check out the insect specimens at the university’s Macleay Museum while you’re in residence.
5. Chill out
Let students at the Australasian College of Natural Therapies in Surry Hills take away your pain – a one-hour massage is $30. Phone: 9218 8855.
6. Head south
Surfers love the Royal National Park’s Garie Beach for its isolation and swells, while the views and high cliffs draw picnickers. Vehicle entry to the park is $11.
7. Laps with a view
More than 80 years ago, Andrew “Boy” Charlton won the 1500 metres at the Paris Olympics in world record time. See how you measure up with a multi-entry pass to the Domain pool named after him. Passes start at $51 (adult) for 10 visits. Phone: 9358 6686. Want a beach view? $4.50 lets you stretch out in the pool at Bondi Icebergs. http://www.icebergs.com.au.
8. Take an iTour
The gen-Y tour guide is small, digital, usually white, and lets you go at your own pace. Tour Sydney with your iPod by downloading a podcast for $9.95 from http://www.walkingtours.com.au.
9. Fire up a barbecue
Reassure yourself that the city, or at least the Shire, isn’t going to run out of water just yet with a picnic at Woronora Dam off the Princes Highway. The dam is open on weekends and has electric barbecues, playgrounds, shelters, toilets and drinking water. http://www.sca.nsw.gov.au.
10. Go bowling in bare feet
Kick off your shoes for barefoot bowls, offered at clubs including Cremorne, Mosman and Bradleys Head. From November the Waverley Bowling and Recreation Club (163 Birrell Street) will run Sunday barefoot bowling sessions, at midday and 4pm. $10 a head. Phone: 9389 3026.
11. Tasting city culture
Wash down your culture with a beer or two at The Old Fitzroy Theatre in Woollomooloo, which attracts an inner-city crowd and cutting-edge shows. Tickets are $28 from http://www.moshtix.com.au.
12. Kuleto’s cocktail bar
Thirsty students gather at Newtown’s Kuleto’s weeknights from 6pm-7.30pm. Discuss Derrida with two red corvettes in hand during the bar’s two-for-one and half-price cocktails happy hour. http://www.kuletos.com.au.
13. Take in some Shakespeare
The actors in a Bell Shakespeare preview performance might still be perfecting their iambic pentameter but when tickets can go for as little as $24 you can forgive a flubbed line or two. http://www.bellshakespeare.com.au.
14. Watch a pub crawl
Rock up at 7.30pm on Thursday nights for crab racing at Newtown’s Courthouse Hotel: buy a $2 hermit crab, name it and enter a heat. See your charge scuttle from the centre of a table to the edge – winners move on to the final and losers end up back in the aquarium. Phone: 9519 8273.
15. Try a soup dumpling
The Chinese call them xiao long bao. In New York, they’re soup dumplings. Try them at Ashfield’s New Shanghai, where $6.80 buys you eight mouthful-sized, neatly pleated, wheat-flour pockets of steamed, minced pork filling. 273 Liverpool Road. Phone: 9798 7721.
16. Meet an author
Hone your literary analysis skills at author talks offered by libraries including North Sydney’s Stanton Library (www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au) and the State Library in Macquarie Street (www.sl.nsw.gov.au).
17. Book Talks
Gleebooks holds regular talks and launches. Coming up: Matt Skinner talking wine and offering tastings (November 5, $10). http://www.gleebooks.com.au/events.
18. Watch whales frolic
Park yourself at a prime spot such as North Head and settle in for humpback displays of breaching, tail slapping and diving. The best months are June and July but you might still catch a waterspout or two in November and December as the whales return south.
19. Throw a tennis party
Book a tennis court (Rushcutters Bay Park Tennis Courts, $20-$26 an hour; Mosman Lawn Tennis Club, $20 an hour), dress in white and grab a bottle of Pimm’s (about $40 for 700ml). Fill a jug with ice, mix one part Pimm’s No. 1 with three parts lemonade, and add mint and cucumber.
20. Thrill to the snake man
Watch the Snake Man of La Perouse – aka local resident John Cann – pull tiger snakes and goannas out of his hessian bag before a wide-eyed audience. The free show is on every Sunday from 1.30pm-4.30pm at the snake pit on the side of Anzac Parade, past the entrance to the Botany Bay national park.
21. Grab Greek treats
At the modern Greek marvel that is Perama, pile up the little platters (called ouzomezedakia, from $5.50 each), including Cypriot pork and herb sausages and zucchini fritters. A spinach and cheese pie is mandatory ($6.50). 88 Audley Street, Petersham. Phone: 9569 7534.
22. Stretch your legs
Walk off that spinach pie by taking in the 26km Harbour Circle Walk, stretching west from the Harbour Bridge through Lavender Bay and Balls Head Bay to Riverview, and back through Hunters Hill, Drummoyne and Rozelle. http://www.walkingcoastal sydney.com.au.
23. Drive-in memories
It’s happy days all round at Sydney’s last drive-in at Blacktown, which has double features from 7.30pm for $16. But don’t expect a Bette Davis double bill – it”s strictly the latest Hollywood blockbusters. http://www.greaterunion.com.au.
24. Hang a hammock
Retreat to a hammock for a siesta. Look for Mexican (knotted) and Brazilian (fabric) hammocks at Kangaroo Tent City branches (Chatswood, Penrith and North Parramatta). Single Brazilian hammocks are about $55. Romantics can invest in a double hammock.
25. Budget films for buffs
Campbelltown’s Dumaresq Street Cinemas has adult tickets for $6. And don’t forget most cinemas have cut-price Tuesdays: at the Hornsby Odeon, adults pay $6 instead of $10, while at The Ritz in Randwick it’s $7.
26. Sample the best food
You don’t need an expense account to sample the 2009 Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year. At Quay in the Overseas Passenger Terminal, you can enjoy a two-course lunch for $75. Think mud crab congee and eight-texture chocolate cake. Phone: 9251 5600.
27. Visit the barracks
Since 1841, soldiers have trooped through the imposing sandstone Victoria Barracks in Paddington. At 10am on Thursdays there are free tours – including a rousing performance by the resident band. Phone: 9339 3349.
28. Swill and spit
Discover some new drops at Amato’s Liquor Mart (267-277 Norton Street, Leichhardt), which runs free wine-tasting sessions every Friday (4pm-8pm) and Saturday (midday-8pm). Ultimo Wine Centre (99 Jones Street) showcases wines from around the world on Saturdays (from 12.30pm), and Paddington’s Five Ways Cellars (4 Heeley Street) hosts sessions every Saturday (midday-6pm).
29. You be the judge
Slip into a public gallery to witness the latest criminal trial. Hearings are held at Darlinghurst Courthouse in Taylor Square, the Law Court Building in Queens Square, the King Street Courthouse, St James Court or Wentworth Chambers in Philip Street. Law notices are published daily at http://www.smh.com.au/lawlists.
30. Discovering the source
Learn where Joern Utzon found his inspiration for those famous sails on a Sydney Architecture Walk. Tours, including “Utzon” and “Harbourings”, leave the Museum of Sydney on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Cost: $25/$20. http://www.sydneyarchitecture.org.
31. Visit Brett Whiteley
The artist’s home and workspace remains much as it was when he died in 1992, packed with paintings, books and personal items. Open 10am-4pm Saturdays and Sundays. Free. 2 Raper Street, Surry Hills. Phone: 9225 1740.
32. Watch arthouse films
Catch something foreign and free in the Domain Theatre at the Art Gallery of NSW, which screens films related to its exhibitions. Until December 7, the Monet and the Impressionists Film Series will run films featuring images of nature. http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au.
33. Ponder the past
Consider the sacrifices of Australian servicemen and women – and some of the city’s finest architecture – at the art deco Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park. Check out the powerful sculpture Sacrifice, featuring the naked body of a soldier that is held aloft on his shield by his grieving mother, sister and wife. Free tours daily at 11.30am and 1.30pm. Open daily 9am-5pm.
34. Meet the makers
The film-viewing-and-discussion event Popcorn Taxi is interested in the craft of filmmaking, not what Naomi Watts had for breakfast. Previous guests have included Baz Luhrmann, George Miller and Dennis Hopper. From $15, usually at Greater
Union Bondi Junction. http://www.popcorntaxi.com.au.
35. Take the monorail
Start at Cockle Bay Wharf, jump off at Paddy’s Market, head to Mamak (15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket) for a $5 roti canai – flaky roti bread with spicy dipping sauces – then board again at the Chinatown stop and head back to Darling Park. A $9.50 Supervoucher day pass allows unlimited travel. http://www.metrotransport.com.au.
36. Grasp the bird’s tail
“Grasp bird’s tail”, “step back to repulse monkey” – not scenes from a wildlife doco but movements in the ancient practice of tai chi. Take a class in Centennial Park for $18. A five-week course is $75. http://www.traditionalqi.com.
37. Find a light show
Global warming hasn’t dimmed Sydneysiders’ enthusiasm for luminous Christmas displays. Streets to watch from late November: Sorlie Road, Frenchs Forest; Hodge Street, Hurstville; and Franklin Street, Barwon Crescent and Flanders Avenue, Matraville.
38. Dance the night away
Channel your inner Margot Fonteyn at the The Sydney Dance Company’s Walsh Bay studios, where 60 casual dance classes are offered a week. The $18 classes, from beginners to advanced, include classical ballet, “Broadway jazz”, Latin, tap and hip-hop. http://www.sydneydancecompany.com.
39. Paddle in heaven
Regulars are fiercely protective of the women-only McIvers sea baths, a 120-year-old piece of heaven carved into the Coogee cliffs. Throw 20 cents into a bucket as
you enter, then pick a spot. You’ll never want to leave. Daily 9am-5pm.
40. Take a sculpture walk
Absorb the work of Sydney sculptor Tom Bass on a $3 self-guided city tour. The artist, now in his 90s, created Hunter Street’s P&O Wall Fountain (also known as “the urinal”) and the AGC Sculpture at the Deutsche Bank building on Phillip Street. http://www.tombass.org.au.
41. Ring some bells
Ora Pro Nobis, Nomen Jesu Christi, St Bede… they’re the names of some of the bells of St Mary’s Cathedral. Become better acquainted with them by watching the cathedral’s bellringers – or learning how to ring them yourself. Phone: 9220 0400.
42. Catch of the day
Fishmongers takes humble fish and chips to a whole new level. Bring a bottle and nab a table for a super-serve of seafood with fat chips ($16). 42 Hall Street, Bondi Beach; 11-27 Wentworth Street, Manly.
43. Paddle by Point Piper
See how the other half live: kayak around Point Piper and peer into the backyards of the area’s mansions. Kayak hire $20 an hour from Ozpaddle, cnr Vickery Avenue and New South Head Road, Rose Bay. http://www.ozpaddle.com.au.
44. Night vision
Armchair astronomers can look through both a computer-controlled telescope and a 134-year-old 29cm lens telescope during $15 night-time tours of the Sydney Observatory. Great views this month of Jupiter and its moons. Phone: 9921 3485.
45. State your opinion
Release your ideological demons at the Sackville Hotel in Balmain during “pub politics”, which once a month on a Thursday night pulls in such guest speakers as Tony Abbott. Phone: 9555 7555.
46. Get a backstage pass
In 1960, Paul Robeson climbed the Opera House scaffolding to sing Ol’ Man River to construction workers. Discover facts like these during an Essential Tour of the Opera House. Adult tickets are $35 – save 25 per cent by booking online. http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com.
47. Made in China
Eastwood’s PK Pacific is a trove of inexpensive storage containers, party supplies, craft supplies and tableware. Squeeze down three skinny aisles to find everything from Asian porcelain figures to Chinese fans, parasols and handbags. 159 Rowe Street, Eastwood. Phone: 9804 1868.
48. Tour the fish market
Discover the largest fish market in the southern hemisphere on an early-morning $20 tour of Pyrmont’s Sydney Fish Market. See the auction floor, sashimi pavilion, and crab and lobster pens. Grab something fresh on the way out: those in the know swear by Claudio’s. http://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au.
49. Make a play date
Belvoir’s downstairs theatre, B Sharp, offers Cheap Tuesdays. Show up one hour before show time and tickets are pay-what-you-can above $10 (maximum of two tickets available). http://www.belvoir.com.au.
50. Come up stumps
You don’t need to go to the SCG to hear a good sledge. Plant yourself at your local oval to see a cricket match for free. Visit http://www.cricketnsw.com.au to check out where your local team is playing this weekend.
51. Put the kids to work
Brasserie Bread is the loaf-of-choice at top city restaurants including est. and you could have some in your kitchen thanks to your kids. The Botany bread factory holds free one-hour baking classes for 5- to 12-year-olds every Saturday morning at 10am and noon. http://www.brasseriebread.com.au.
52. Channel the Don
During a $25 tour of the Sydney Cricket Ground you can visualise Don Bradman getting his 452 not out in 1930 against Queensland or Harold Larwood’s first salvo in the Bodyline series, then visit the dressing rooms, run down the players’ tunnel and stop in at the museum. http://www.sydneycricketground.com.au.
53. Find a frilly frock
Grab something flirty, floaty or frilly at Alannah Hill’s Drummoyne factory outlet. You’ll find previous season’s dresses, skirts and stockings in all sizes for 40-60 per cent off. http://www.birkenheadpoint.com.au.
54. Rhyme on a dime
Glebe’s most eccentric resident, the Friend in Hand pub, holds poetry night WordinHand on the first Tuesday of the month. In the bizarre bar, bards bravely compete for attention. Test your own couplets on the open mic. Entry with a $10 donation. http://www.friendinhand.com.au.
55. Pick up a pencil
At the Arthouse Hotel in Pitt Stree, punters ponder brushstrokes over Peronis. On Monday nights, life models stretch oout in the upstairs Dome Restaurant for $3 life drawing sessions. http://www.thearthousehotel.com.au
56. See Thai chefs at work
Drop in to Chat Thai (open 11am-10pm) during off-peak hours to take a chilli-laden journey to north-eastern Thailand with dishes such as crying tiger ($8) – marinated, grilled beef served with sharp northern-style dipping sauce. 20 Campbell Street, Haymarket. Phone: 9211 1808.
57. Pack a picnic
With 23 hectares of 19th- century gardens, the 200-year-old Vaucluse House is a gem. Plant a picnic basket in the gorgeous garden for nothing, or take a tour of the house on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for $8. http://www.hht.net.au.
58. Samba in Woollahra
At Jazz Juice, the Woollahra Hotel’s live music nights, samba is as common as New Orleans blues. Eclectic bands play Sundays 6.30pm-9.30pm, while Thursdays belong to world music group Marsala. 7.45pm-10.45pm. http://www.woollahrahotel.com.au.
59. On your bike
The 250-metre Monster Mountain X bike track at Sydney Olympic Park has plenty of jumps and turns for young mountain and BMX bikers and it’s free if you BYO wheels. Or hire a mountain bike from the Sydney Olympic Park Visitors Centre ($12 for one hour). http://www.sydney olympicpark.com.au.
60. Relive student days
Glebe’s Excelsior Hotel boasts a line-up of indie folk, rock and acoustic acts from Thursday to Sunday nights, and $2.90 schooners during happy hour (4.30pm-6.30pm weeknights). Phone: 9552 9700; http://www.drummedia.com.au.
61. Join the club, or start it
Most libraries and independent bookstores have book clubs, or call some friends, choose a book (Tim Winton’s Breath was a hit this year) and pick a venue. See http://www.gumtree.com.au for local book clubs.
62. The China syndrome
At Sun Jewel Variety Store in Campsie you’ll find woven seagrass placemats, wicker coasters, outdoor bamboo flares, ribbons, china tea sets, noodle bowls and Chinese lanterns galore. 190 Beamish Street, Campsie. Phone: 9718 0464.
63. Visit a quirky museum
Discover that Edmund Barton and Don Bradman were Freemasons at the Museum of Freemasonry in Castlereagh Street. Or visit the UNSW’s Museum of Human Disease for $11, where exhibition highlights include 30 cancerous lungs. But phone 9385 1522 first.
64. Rock around the Clock
At the upstairs Balcony Bar of the Clock in Surry Hills, happy hour runs from 6pm-7pm Monday-Saturday with all cocktails $9. http://www.clockhotel.com.au.
65. Build a castle
Get a castle by the sea for nothing. Bucket? Check. Spade? Check. Now head on down to Palm Beach, Bondi or Bronte and rediscover the joys of making a sandcastle.
66. Climb the bridge
See Sydney from the Harbour Bridge without the hard work and daggy suits of BridgeClimb. The Pylon Lookout, up 200 steps in the south-east pylon, has exhibitions and a viewing platform – all for $9.50. http://www.pylonlookout.com.au.
67. Walk in the park
Starting daily at 10.30am, a Botanic Gardens expert leads a jaunt along the
Farm Cove foreshore and through the herb, rose and oriental gardens. http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au.
68. Take an ABC tour
You might open wide the doors of the Play School set, or peek into a live radio studio where 702 Sydney hosts sometimes invite tourers in for an on-air chat. Tours are $7.50, weekdays at 9.50am and 12.20pm. Phone: 8333 5488.
69. Applause! Applause!
Head to the ABC to be a member of the studio audience for Enough Rope or The Gruen Transfer, Channel Ten to sit in on Good News Week, Channel Nine for The Footy Show, or Seven for Dancing with the Stars. Visit network websites for all the details.
70.Watch some birds
Release your inner ornithologist with a bit of bird watching at Centennial Park, where there are 124 native and 18 introduced species. You might even spot one of the park’s more elusive residents, such as a tawny frogmouth. For a spotter’s guide to the park, visit http://www.centennialparklands.com.au.
71.Catch a band and burrito
Grab a burrito ($13-$16) and a jug of sangria ($16) at Surry Hills rocker pub the Hopetoun’s upstairs restaurant, then stumble downstairs to catch nightly shows of up to four bands. Band cover charge from $6. http://www.myspace.com/hopetounhotel.
72. Go fly a kite
Expert kite flyers recommend Tania Park at Balgowlah Heights, high-up Christison Park at Vaucluse, and Botany Bay National Park in La Perouse. An $8 kite kit from Kite Magic in Coogee makes a standard diamond flier guaranteed to soar. Phone: 9315 7001.
73. Enjoy the view
Wedged under the Opera House, the indoor/outdoor Opera Bar is the city’s best-looking venue for free live music. Slinky jazz trios, earnest singer-songwriters and soul crooners play from 2pm on weekends and 8.30pm every night.
74. Join a yacht crew
If you know your way around a jib, register with your local yacht club. Phone the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Rushcutters Bay on 8292 7870, Newport’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on 9997 1022 or check the listings for Manly Yacht Club at http://www.myc.org.au.
75. Shop for a swimsuit
The Zimmermann factory outlet in Zetland is regularly topped up with fresh threads, most selling for 60-80 per cent off. Grab a cossie in time for summer for $70. Phone: 9697 9988.
76. Play chopsticks
Freshen up your house by buying a couple of bargain packets of lushly coloured decorative chopsticks from Chinese supermarket New Yen Yen and stacking them in an interesting vessel. No one would know they cost almost nothing. Shop 25D, 1 Lakeside Road, Eastwood. Phone: 9804 0988.
77. Listen to local music
The Whitlams tipped a hat to the “Sando”; in Newtown in their song God Drinks at the Sando. The pub offers a bunch of free nights, including a Live and Local set on Wednesdays and an acoustic night on Thursdays. http://www.sando.com.au.
78. Unearth new talent
Ten dollars could nab you a seat at the SBW Stables Theatre in Kings Cross for a Griffin Theatre Company production on Pay-What-You-Can Mondays. Show up at the box office one hour before the 6.30pm performance and pay what you can ($10 minimum and limit of two seats). http://www.griffintheatre.com.au.
79. Pick up some PJs
The Homebush Direct Factory Outlet store of that couturier of comfort, Peter Alexander, has sleepwear for a song. Phone: 9763 1876.
80. Go late-night shopping
Every Thursday night from 9pm-midnight, Oxford Street trendoids converge on the Paddo Inn for an extended happy hour known as Late Night Shopping. Cocktails go for $10 (usually $16). http://www.paddingtoninn.com.au.
81. Discover future stars
NIDA’s graduate list reads like the credits to a dream flick – Blanchett, Weaving, Luhrmann, Gibson. Meet the next generation at one of its student productions. http://www.nida.edu.au.
82. Hoe into hawker food
McLucksa stands out for its wok-smokey char kway teow – wide rice noodle ribbons tossed with sweet Chinese sausage, shredded chicken, squid and bean sprouts ($8.50). Level 3, Market City food court, Haymarket. Phone: 9211 1922.
83. Spot a possum
Bring a torch and join a twilight Spotlight Prowl in Centennial Park for $11. Rangers will point out the nocturnal inhabitants. Phone: 9339 6699.
84. Rock the Bridge
The Bridge Hotel in Rozelle has welcomed B.B. King and Melissa Etheridge to its stage in the past. Tickets are usually about $20 but on the last Friday of every month, Tice & Evans – featuring former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans – bring their acoustic show to the Bridge for free. Phone: 9810 1260.
85. Get souped up
Hanoi Quan offers a menu of North Vietnamese street food: authentic pho (beef or chicken noodle soup, $8) and even tastier bun cha ($9) – pork on noodles with salad and nuoc cham. 346b Illawarra Road, Marrickville. Phone: 9559 1637.
86. Grab a $20 STC ticket
STC’s much-touted “20 for $20” tickets (20 seats are released for $20 for selected shows) are not available for every show but keep an eye out for the deal on Rabbit, directed by Brendan Cowell. Opens November 22. http://www.sydneytheatre.com.au.
87. A vegetarian feast
With a Bollywood beat in the background, Maya Masala serves up a marvellous masala dosa (south Indian pancake with spiced potato filling, $9) or a fully vegetarian, southern-style thali (puffy fried puri breads, four curries, pickles, yoghurt and rice, $13.90). 468-472 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills. Phone: 9699 8663.
88. Tour Lucas Heights
Visit Australia’s only nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights and see the 20-megawatt beast in action through CCTV. You can also view the “neutron guide hall”, where there are enough neutron beams to make a Bond villain blush. Pre-booked tours are free. Phone: 9717 3111.
89. Find a family skeleton
Perhaps you’re descended from Napoleon? The Society of Australian Genealogists will help you find out. Visit its library at 379 Kent Street, where local and school histories, shipping records and parish registers reveal the past. Daily research fee is $20 for non-members. http://www.sag.org.au.
90. A mighty mixed grill
At the Sultan’s Table, order a plate of lamb and chicken shish (skewered chunks) plus flat, sausagey strips of minced lamb Adana, sizzled on flat-edged skewers. Add a dip, a puffy slab of Turkish bread and a soft drink and you’ll find that $25 buys a feast for two carnivores. 179 Enmore Road, Enmore. Phone: 9557 0229.
91.Tour a cemetery
Explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell is buried in the 160-year-old cemetery at St Stephens Newtown. So, too, is Eliza Donnithorne, believed to have been the inspiration for Miss Havisham in Dickens’ Great Expectations. $10 tours run on the first Sunday of every month at 11.30 am. Phone: 9557 2043.
92.Take a sculptural walk
Stroll the beachside Cabbage Tree Bay Eco-Sculpture Walk from Manly to Shelly Beach, which includes sculptures of a long-nosed bandicoot and a Manly surfer. At Shelly, pick up some fish and chips from the Sandbar Cafe ($14.50).
93. Catch some classics
A classical concert for $15? It’s baton up and prices down at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Conductors’ Series. The discount concerts feature some of its best ensembles – from early music to improv jazz. http://www.music.usyd.edu.au/concerts/index.shtml
94. Join a petanque club
If you don’t know your demi portee from your roulette dirigee, it’s time to brush up your petanque skills. For clubs and coaching advice, visit http://www.petanque.org.
95. Dig into a $2 shop
You’ll find things at Hot Dollar in Westfield Bondi Junction that wouldn’t look out of place in Sydney’s ritziest manors – from giant old-fashioned glass cookie jars and good vases, to photo frames and metal water pitchers. Shop 1035, Level 1, Westfield, 500 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction. Phone: 9387 8262.
96. Take political action
Take a seat in the Legislative Assembly and see members of the State’s lower house debate bills and trade barbs. November sitting dates are 11-14 and 25-28.
97. Funk and bubbles
Thursdays are funk nights at Establishment, Justin Hemmes’ original pleasure dome where the blokes’ suits are dark and the womens’ skirts are short. Ladies get a free glass of sparkling wine on arrival. http://www.merivale.com.
98. Slurp up some noodles
Northsiders love Ramen Sun Sun, a ramen-ya (noodle shop), where you’ll find boiling basins of broth, such as the Tokyo-style with egg noodles, roast pork, corn niblets and an egg half ($9). Chorused Japanese greetings and farewells are free. Crows Nest Plaza, 103 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest. Phone: 9906 2956.
99. Get set for Christmas
The C Mart Bargain Centre is a fertile hunting ground for people short on cash: look for treasure-chest boxes, vases, teapots, vacuum flasks and joss paper. 210 Beamish Street, Campsie. Phone: 9787 9188.
100. Carve up an $8 steak
Order an $8 steak meal or a schnitzel at the Robin Hood Hotel bar and secure a quiet spot upstairs to enjoy it with either chips or mash and the sauce of your choice. 203 Bronte Road, Waverley. Phone: 9389 3477.